"Gastroschisis refers to a (full thickness) defect in the abdominal wall, adjacent to the umbilical cord insertion, through which extrusion of the fetal bowel has occured. The defect usually arises to the right of the umbilicus and is generally small (less than 2cm). It is most commonly found on the right side of the umbilical cord.
Gastroschisis occurs in about 1 in 5-10,000 live births. It appears to occur more frequently in women who are less than 20 years of age. It may also be more common in women who smoke and use drugs such as cocaine.
During the 4th to 5th week of embryonic development the embryo, which has been a flat disk, folds in four directions: up and down and right and left sides. Each fold converges at the site of the umbilicus with the side folds forming the sides of the abdominal wall.
Gastroschisis is thought to occur because of interruptions to the blood supply or blood vessels which supply the muscles of the abdominal wall during the period of abdominal wall development."
I have learnt, that since being told the statistics for these babies is 1 in 5-10,000 when I was receiving the news myself, it may in fact now be somewhere around 1 in 2500.
Although the information above suggests that age, smoking and drugs are more commonly associated with the cause of Gastroschisis, it fails to also include factors like: Environment such as pesticide use, Ethnicity, Pharmaceutical drugs such as products containing Ibuprofen, Pseudoephedrine, Aspirin, and Phenylpropanolamine; Illness... the list could probably go on. But basically, the exact cause is still unknown and studies are continuously being carried out. So the main thing to realise is not to blame yourself, there's nothing you can do once your little one has it, and to prepare yourself for the birth - that is the time when everything can start to be fixed.
It is very fixable...
Gastroschisis Awareness Day - July 30th
Hi and Welcome to everyone!
This Gastroschisis Support Group website has been running for almost 4 years now, and I'm so happy to be able to help you in any way possible from own experiences. If you're having a Gastroschisis baby, already have one or know of a friend or family who are going through the same thing, please let them know about us - We can use all the support we can get.
The one thing that I realised when I found out I was having a baby with Gastroschisis, was that I couldnt find a great support group of people who had or were experiencing the same things as I was, and it was a hard and lonely road to walk down without similiar stories to compare. I found that there was an abundance of information online, but mostly contradicting with other sites and never had one source that had everything I needed. Now that I have experienced it for myself I wish to share this with other parents... If I can help even just one person to have a happier and more positive outlook on Gastroschisis, then it will all be worthwhile.
Our babies are a complete miracle, and it is important to share that although it may be hard, we must always remain positive... Children are a blessing.
So please visit when you can and share your experiences, feelings, photos, problems... anything! Catch up on the Blog area for similar stories, or just come for a chat, and gloat about your beautiful babies.
Feel free to contact me for anything - ideas, issues, feedback etc.
Take care always,
*Mother of Makaio, Born 17/07/09*